This week has been an adventure; from registering at the National Institute of Education for classes, spending my first week at my school site and meeting with teachers, adventuring into the labyrinth of air-conditioned shopping malls that put Vegas to shame, and getting happily lost on solo excursions out and about on this fabulous island.
On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday I headed to my school site where the staff and administration have been so welcoming. I have a cubicle in the department head office and feel fortunate to be among these informed instructors. I have been introduced to so many teachers and staff members that my head is spinning, but they graciously repeat their names when I stumble and massacre the pronunciation with my phonetic approach. I will spend 6 weeks here at Beatty Secondary School visiting classrooms and talking with teachers that support students with special education needs.
On Wednesday, the Fulbright group headed to the National Institute of Education; Singapore’s teaching college, where we finalized paperwork for enrollment into classes. Although the campus is located quite some distance from the city center, attending class there will be a welcomed addition to my schedule each week. I will be in a course with my assisting professor, Wong Meng Ee, who is my contact for research through the university. I start tomorrow evening.
I have taken the opportunity to explore when I can and have found great running paths near where I am staying in District 10 near Tam Kah Kee MRT, which is close to the Botanical Gardens. I utilize public transportation everywhere I go and have yet to have any issues other than my own inability to make sense of timetables. I am getting better with practice. Each subway stop (MRT stop) seems to connect with a high-end shopping mall. As passengers make their way up escalators, they find themselves ushered into food courts and shopping extravaganzas. It is no wonder Singaporeans are immaculate dressers and seem to have a preoccupation with all things food.
Chinese New Year is looming on the horizon. It begins February 5 and ends the 19. I have traveled to Chinatown a few times as the energy there is electric and red lanterns, decorations, and pig-themed accessories are out in full force. It is the year of the pig, and one is encouraged to look up their Chinese Zodiac sign to determine if 2019 will be a good year with career fit, marriage, fortune, etc. With this holiday being such an important time for over 20% of the world population, and with so many Chinese celebrating in Singapore, I am leaning into the Chinese New Year celebrations. Thus, the dress.
Next week promises to be another week of new adventures. Thanks for reading.